One Year With Minimalism: A Journey



It was around one year ago that I discovered the minimalism movement. Before that point, I had clutter throughout my home in various places and I didn't even realize it. There was so much distraction and I was completely unaware of it all. I was going out and purchasing things I didn't need. I was holding onto things that no longer served a purpose in my life anymore. I was keeping clothes and shoes I didn't wear because I thought I would in the future. I kept nail polish I hadn't used in months and makeup I rarely wore. I held onto decorations that no longer fit my style incase it would again someday. (I guess I should note that the amount of clutter I had probably wasn't really all that much, considering I've been living on my own for only 3 years, but it was enough to drive me up the wall once I realized it was there.) How did I realize it was all there? It started out with a video I came across on YouTube that really caught my attention. I watched the video and the whole idea kind of stuck with me for a few days after that. I soon began searching for more videos and articles. I also picked up a book at Barnes and Noble called, "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo, an in-depth "how-to"for decluttering. And so it began. I slowly started to declutter my space, room by room. I started off with my closet space. Over the course of the entire year, it took me about 6 "clean outs" and 6 trips to the thrift stores. This wasn't an overnight process. I moved on to the bathroom, removing anything expired, without purpose, and unused. After that, I took on the kitchen cabinets and so forth. I eventually made my way to the storage area, where I made it a goal to eliminate as much "storage stuff" as possible. I went from having 5+ boxes to 2. One for Christmas décor and one for miscellaneous items that are worth keeping but don't have a specific place. I have absolutely nothing in my basement except for my washer and dryer - just how I wanted it to be.

Why did I do this, though? Well for one, unorganized mess brings me unnecessary stress and anxiety. I like to know exactly what I do and don't own, and I like to know where exactly I can find it at any given time. To have boxes upon boxes just sitting in storage, it just adds weight. Another reason is the fact that I'll be moving across the country in a little over a year - 2,000 miles to be more exact. The thought of packing everything up and moving it that distance is a little overwhelming, and the less there is to pack and transport, the easier it will be. I didn't want to leave it to last minute, so I started early and shifted my lifestyle along with it. I started buying less. Impulsion out, intention in. Keep in mind, minimalism not about throwing everything out, and replacing it with new. Minimalism is about removing anything that no longer serves a purpose or brings happiness, and keeping it out. Being more with less.

Sure, I'm not a perfect minimalist. But that's ok. There are no rules or guidelines. That's the beauty of it: it's designed to fit your lifestyle in whatever way you need it to be. I have a few extra things hanging in my closet that I don't wear as often, but I absolutely love them. They make me happy. It took me an entire year to get to where I am, and I'm not even finished.  I still find myself letting go of items I previously held onto because of the what ifs and just in case scenarios I played out in my head. It's all good, though. See, minimalism isn't the destination. It's not my goal to be a minimalist, per se. Simplicity and liberation is the goal. The freedom to get up and travel or move in an instant is the goal. Not being held back or tied down due to material things is the goal. I really hope I've inspired at least a few of you in the past year to live more minimally and I look forward to another year of it! Don't forget, if you'd like to send in private feedback or blog post requests, you can now do so by going to my request page (clicking here) !

E X C I T I N G!  N E W S!!
I also wanted to mention that... drumroll... I have created a YouTube channel!!! I can't say for sure when I'll start uploading vides - the goal is for the beginning of this year, but there is no definite date yet. The channel will be similar to my blog and will be based on minimalism, travel, photography, following dreams, freelancing, and lifestyle advice + tips. I also plan to mix in a few vlogs here and there from my travels. I've always wanted to create a channel and inspire people. Four years ago, when I first started watching YouTube a lot more, I wanted to create one. Now that The Ivory Fawn has been up and running for over a year, I think it's time to take on a new challenge and adventure. It's no secret that blogging a really hard work, especially if you're trying to inspire and reach a large number of people. Don't worry, I'll still maintain this blog with my normal schedule. If you'd like to subscribe to The Ivory Fawn YOUTUBE CHANNEL, click here! I'll also keep a link on the side of this blog to the channel. Here's to a new adventure!

14 comments

  1. I've heard so much about the minimalist challenge but I personally don't think I'd be able to do it myself. Kudos to you for finding something that works for you! It seems to reflect well in your writing and photos and I just love the way your entire blog looks as well!

    xx Heather | stormywheather.com

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  2. Congrats for launching your own youtube channel! That is also something I want to do, but I think I need to learn the basics first.

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  3. I'll have to check out your channel. How awesome!

    I've heard about the minimalist challenge but it just isn't for me.

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  4. Congrats on your upcoming You tube channel. It's always exciting to start on a new journey.

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  5. I think Im pretty minimalistic, but could probably purge a little more. I watched a documentary on Netflix recently and enjoyed it.

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  6. Very interesting, I never heard of a minimalist challenge before. Not sure from reading your blog if this challenge is for me

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  7. Congrats on your youtube channel! :)

    I think minimalism is pretty appropriate for me. My vision for 2017 is simplicity!

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  8. I have been on the minimalist challenge as I continue to pare down my closet I feel more free and less tense when I go into my closet. It is one of the best things I have ever done for myself! So worth the time!

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  9. I've never done the minimalist challenge (or heard about it for that matter). I too hate unorganized clutter, so perhaps I need to try a more minimalist lifestyle.

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  10. This is pretty big and I need this in my life. I really need to declutter, purge, rid my house of things that no longer serve a purpose, etc. Subscribing to your channel and looking forward to following your journey!

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  11. Congrats for your own you tube channel. I love minimalism also I think that we have unneeded things in our houses. Just flipping me to see too many things around me that are not in use.

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  12. Congratulations on setting up your YouTube Channel! I'm looking forward to checking out your future videos. There are definitely certain aspects of my life where I could stand to live a more minimalist lifestyle...looking forward to checking out your best practices! :)

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  13. Omg congrats on making it a year!!! I have a few friends that have attempted the whole minimalist thing. I just don't think I could do it.

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  14. Congratulations on the YouTube channel. I am decluttering too a little by little.It's therapy and less stresistance organizing stuff you don't need .

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